Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Ruddy Faced Russian

I remember Terry Jones used that turn of phrase to describe Alexander Selivanov. I remember at the time thinking that Terry was just about the last guy who should be commenting on anyone else's appearance. Now this is all just by my iffy memory, but I'll carry on.

Selivanov was always startlingly frank in interviews, it was refreshing. Unfortunately what he had to say was almost hard to believe. Alex's game, according to him, was to stay up high in the defensive zone. Apparently when he was on his game he got a lot of breakaways.

Phil Esposito would occasionally chirp in to remind us Edmontonians that Alex was the kind of player that needed to play with high end talent.

And I don't think that anybody needs to be told that you don't play a breakaway specialist against Forsberg's line.

Kevin Lowe was the coach at the time, and though he never criticized Selivanov publicly, at least not that I recall ... it was pretty clear that Alex was fighting him. And personally, I never faulted Lowe for buckling down on him, trying to change his game. Because Alex's game was going to earn him a lot of scratch at arbitration, but it was going to lose the Oilers a lot more hockey games than it won them.

Anyhow, I 'm struggling to find the quotes on and by Alex Selivanov with google, but here are a couple of other things that nail it pretty well:

Courtesy of pelves.com, TB Coach Terry Crisp, on rookie Alex Selivanov, ‘Yes the guy can score you 40 goals. Yes I love it. What I don’t want is him causing 60.’

Courtesy of lcshockey.com, Jacques Demers,
'Right now, I like Alex Selivanov the person, but I don't like Alex Selivanov the hockey player. He has to learn to play for the team, not play for himself.'

And Alex Selivanov is not unique, there are a bunch of players in this league that have a wide streak of his game in their's. Almost all are young, and most won't change and will follow Alex's career path. Some actually will change, and usually that means they stop scoring and eventually become reliable depth players.


Blogger Lowetide said...

"I look at a guy like Pavol Demitra (St. Louis), how hard he works, how he wants the puck and how he goes and gets it. Selivanov should be the same," said Kevin Lowe in late February. "I'm not yanking Mike Grier or Ethan Moreau, who work their butts off, just so Selivanov can play."

3/06/2007 7:46 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Thanks Lowetide, something about the way my brain works and the way google works doesn't seem to mesh.

Good qualitative call on Demitra as well. Though it's hard to think that everyone doesn't agree. Imagine how strong the Sens would have been had they kept him?

Just looking at hockeydb.com and he was a mile over a ppg as a 19-20 yr old in the AHL, then a country mile over as a 20-21 year old the next year (81 points in 48 games played).

Then the Sens punted him back to the IHL the next year before he got a chance in St Louis.


Another quote on Selivanov comes to mind as well. Countless times Doug Weight would remark that (paraphrasing) ...
"when you're out there with him, you don't even know he's on the ice with you until he gets a chance on goal. And I don't mean that as a shot at Alex."

Or something strikingly similar to those words.

Hard to imagine how Alex could've taken that as a compliment. ;)

3/06/2007 8:12 pm  
Blogger DTK said...

Vic, was this spurred by a viewing of the NHL Network? They had the '00 series on their channel today and I watched 30 min of it and there was Seli in all his glory.

I'd imagine this thread is a little poke at our own Mr. Lupul;)

3/06/2007 9:31 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


No, I didn't see that. I made a comment to someone about Selivanov today on one of the blogs, talking about Robert Nilsson. I guess that just got me thinking about it.

And Lupul certainly does belong to that family of player I think. So do a bunch of guys to varying degrees. Just not the kind of player I like, personally.

3/06/2007 10:39 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

No, I didn't see that. I made a comment to someone about Selivanov today on one of the blogs, talking about Robert Nilsson. I guess that just got me thinking about it.

It was Cosh, on BoA. if I hadn't seen that comment, I would have assumed LT wrote this post. You know, I don't remember Selivanov on the Oilers at all. I really must have blanked out that period of my hockey fan life.

3/07/2007 8:02 am  
Blogger joninabox said...

Ah God, are you guys listening to Total Sports? Some of the stuff Stauffer and Brownlee are saying is just completely wrong. Some of the highlights:

1. MacT hasn't given Lupul "a chance" with PP time.

PP time:
Smyth 260 minutes
Hemsky 251 minutes
Lupul 215 minutes

Sure, Smyth and Hemsky have both been injured, but that's a decent amount.

2. According to something they read on "Oilfans.com or somewhere," Lupul has actually been just as effect as Smyth and Hemsky on the PP.

My God.

PPP/60 minutes (roughly)

Smyth 4.38
Hemsky 5.496
Lupul 2.232


3/07/2007 5:49 pm  

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